5 feel-good stories emerging after LA Rams' 1st preseason game

Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay
Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams Sean McVay / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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Stetson Bennett, Zach Evans Los Angeles Rams / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

V: Rams running game can be a focus of offense

The LA Rams certainly have retooled the offense to create the opportunity to run more frequently and effectively this season. So one of the keys to the Rams offense in the first preseason game of the year was assessing how effectively the Rams would run.

Now we know that the Rams do not play their starters in preseason games, so do not let the absence of Cam Akers or Kyren Williams fool you. The Rams did not use either player in the running game, which is a clear indication that they are locks to make the Rams' 53-man roster and that the team is still looking for the third back on the team.

The Rams played just three running backs in the first preseason game: RB Ronnie Rivers played 17 snaps, rookie RB Zach Evans played 21 offensive snaps, and veteran RB Royce Freeman played 29 offensive snaps.

The stage was set to test the Rams running ability in this game very early. On the second play of the game, with second down and one yard to go, the Rams rushed smallish running back Ronnie Rivers for four yards to move the chains. Of course, the drive soon ended after a series of three passing plays resulted in no gain or negative yardage, but the Rams runners were on track.

The power of a power back unleashed

This was a game in which the Rams offense played from behind the entire game. And that kept the Rams out of any ball control offensive scenarios. But if you remove all quarterback scrambles, the Rams running backs carried the football 21 times for a total of 91 yards. That averages out to a 4.33 yards per run average, and that's not bad. And as long as the Rams were mixing offensive plays between the run and the pass, the Chargers pass rush was far less effective in the game.

The Rams played all three of their 'bubble' rushers in the first preseason game, and the workload was about as evenly distributed as possible. No running back played poorly, although I can say that I loved seeing the Rams hand off to big ole Royce Freeman from three yards out and let him run it in for a touchdown. Freeman is 6-foot-0 and 238 pounds, and he looked like a guy who could pound it in repeatedly this season. The Rams have Kyren Williams over Ronnie Rivers. The Rams have Cam Akers over Zach Evans.

The Rams do not have an alternative to Royce Freeman. If it comes down to one of the three runners, I hope teh Rams go with Freeman on that reason alone.